A second tweet included the words “We weren’t joking. Consider this shit very seriously. James Franco for Best Supporting Actor” while an animated conversation on Reddit came to life on Wednesday, with fans guessing the realistic possibilities of the nomination.
True, A24 is known for its irreverent presence on social media, but the question as to whether the HFPA and the Academy are listening is certainly worth pondering — though the Spirit Awards might be a more fitting berth.
Harmony Korine’s controversial film, which also stars Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez, drew strong reactions this spring for its graphic mockery of MTV exploitation shows like “Jersey Shore,” but it was Franco’s performance as rapper/gangster Alien that garnered the most praise from critics.
“Franco dominates the proceedings after entering them about a half-hour in,” Guy Lodge wrote in Variety‘s review, while Manohla Dargis of the New York Times heralded him as “the fantastic Mr. Franco.”
It’s a competitive year, but at this point, anything is possible. In the recent past, Oscar voters have nominated plenty of dark horse contenders, including Robert Downey Jr. , “Tropic Thunder” (2008), Amy Adams, “Junebug” (2005), Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi in “Babel” (2006), John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone” (2010) and Demian Bichir, “A Better Life” (2011).
Franco has been nominated before for his work on “127 Hours” as best actor but the key measure could be whether the Academy has forgiven the actor for his performance as Oscar host a few years ago alongside Anne Hathaway.
“I felt kind of trapped in that material,” he later explained to Playboy. “I felt, This is not my boat. I’m just a passenger, but I’m going down and there’s no way out.”
The actor has since gone on to lampoon his performance, giving Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill free rein to roast him at a recent Comedy Central event, and now appears to have gotten over the entire incident.
“It’s great to be recognized and it’s great to be recognized by your peers,” he said in a recent interview. “But the situation you get into when you’re an Oscar hopeful, it’s like running for office.”
“Spring Breakers,” which opened in March, is available for purchase or download online.